The Vagaries Of Pronunciation

In the parking lot of this apartment complex, directly below the balcony where I go to smoke, there’s a Best Buy delivery truck with California plates. It has a dealership license plate frame. On top of the frame, in all caps, is the name TODEY. On the bottom, in title case, it reads “Not Toady, It’s Todey (Toddy)”.

While I rarely share my empathy with car dealers, I suspect that this particular promotional license plate frame is the result of some very deep-seated neuroses and a lot of bad business during grammar school.

Somewhere, I think as I stand out in the sweltering heat smoking and staring down at the black plastic frame that bears his name, Mr. Todey is standing in the doorway of his car dealership, big smile frozen on his face, muttering “Toddy not Toady, Toddy not Toady” under his breath over and over again as customers stream in to buy his vehicles. Behind his eyes is a vision of an entire classroom of children, hurling crumpled-up paper balls and shouting “Toady! Toady! Toady!” as his ten year old self huddles beneath his desk and sobs.

Nah, I think. Fuck it. He’s probably a well-adjusted guy. Then I put out my cigarette and go back inside.

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